Vancouver’s Wreck Seashore has lengthy been a favorite hangout for locals and vacationers alike.
Stretching alongside seven kilometres of beachfront on the west coast of the Level Gray peninsula, close to the College of British Columbia, the remoted seashore is accessible solely by a 500-step forest path. It is also well-known because the area’s hottest clothing-optional waterfront.
However employees at Metro Vancouver say its ballooning reputation over the previous few years is resulting in elevated emergencies and public security incidents which might be stretching assets skinny.
“The spike within the variety of customers and the variety of incidents the previous few years … has been fairly dramatic, so it has been a problem,” mentioned Paul Brar, division supervisor for Metro Vancouver Regional Parks’ West Space.
On Wednesday, employees will current a report back to Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks Committee outlining issues and options for the 2023 season, together with extra policing help.
In accordance with employees, greater than 838,000 folks visited Wreck Seashore final 12 months — a leap of 44 per cent in comparison with 5 years in the past.
Lots of of emergency calls
Metro Vancouver employees mentioned emergency responders have been coping with a rising variety of incidents, together with wildfires, overdoses and battle between guests.
Over the previous 5 years, the report mentioned there have been 210 emergency requires service to the College RCMP detachment, 170 calls to B.C. Emergency Well being Companies, 130 calls to Vancouver Hearth and Rescue Companies and 79 calls to the Canadian Coast Guard.
Wreck Seashore’s isolation, whereas including to its attract, creates main points for emergency responders.
“Given the complexity of how busy that web site might be and the challenges of getting up and down these stairs, that is what’s creating among the challenges we have been ,” mentioned Brar.
In medical emergencies, Brar mentioned responders will typically contact the Canadian Coast Guard, which can transport sufferers by hovercraft to Spanish Banks. Nonetheless, the coast guard is not at all times obtainable, which leaves emergency responders with the troublesome activity of carrying a affected person on a stretcher up 500 stairs by means of a forest.
Name for elevated policing
Within the report, employees highlighted a number of adjustments to Wreck Seashore to accommodate the rising numbers of tourists and to higher reply to emergencies.
In 2022, the College RCMP detachment mentioned it wasn’t capable of patrol the seashore attributable to restricted assets.
“The noticeable absence of a daily police presence posed challenges in responding to incidents involving medicine and alcohol and in closing the seashore at night time,” in response to the report.
Metro Vancouver mentioned it’s working with the RCMP and has requested extra help for 2023.
Throughout the winter, storms wash particles and enormous logs onto the seashore. Metro Vancouver employees have cleaned up the seashore and logs have been re-aligned to create extra open house for each the general public and emergency responders.
A storage facility has been constructed on the seashore the place emergency responders will be capable of retailer tools. BCEHS will present naloxone kits and prepare Wreck Seashore distributors on easy methods to use them in case of an overdose.
A safety mild has been put in at one of many trailheads to assist beachgoers as soon as the solar units. And indicators have been put in round Wreck Seashore to speak guidelines.
Employees may even sweep the seashore nightly to make sure there aren’t any campfires and can take away additional seashore logs which might be used for firewood to keep away from potential wildfires.
The Early Version8:03A leap within the variety of guests to Wreck Seashore is resulting in security issues on the standard nudist spot